Inspired

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A few minutes ago, I talked to a man who’s Hindu. We discussed what I’d call “higher consciousness.”

The discussion began, because he had the dot on his forehead that symbolizes The Third Eye.

We discussed meditation. He gave me a start-up method that is suggested for beginners: lighting a candle and focusing only-on-the-candle for 5 minutes.

Thoughts will come, as you meditate. Let them pass. Let them be. Try not to judge your thoughts. “Watch” them pass by.

Mel Robbins, an inspirational speaker, says to write your thoughts out. Even if those thoughts include an old episode of a favorite show.

Meditation and/or writing the thoughts out makes room in your mind for the things you’re actually wanting to focus on. All people experience fatigue within their minds.

Mark Zuckerberg has a reason for wearing the same, simple clothing every day. He chooses to wear the same, simple clothing every day, because of what’s called decision-fatigue. There’s only a certain amount of major decisions that your mind allows you to make, per day. After that, decision-fatigue sets in.

Mark, I read, would rather wear the “same thing” every day, so that his clothing is not one of the major decisions he invests in.

The man I met today suggested that I stop reading about higher consciousness, meditation, and focus, so much. I read and study A LOT. I love to learn and I love to learn in a detailed manner.

He suggested I stop that, to a major degree.

Do it. Practice it. It’s great to have the information, but without practice, it is all meaningless.

There’s my share for the day.

Changes

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So much has changed. So much.

Just in one year. Just in two years. And so much, in the past six years. What? It hasn’t been six years since Chloe’s adoption, has it?! You do the math. I don’t want to. I don’t want to come to that realization, so… no math, for me.

I’m not great at summarizing things, but I will try.

I suppose the biggest changes happened in April (2018), but the years prior were of help, as well.

Without the years before finding the anti-depressant that genuinely helps me, the anti-depressant wouldn’t have been enough, I don’t think.

In those last six years, *cringe*

I’ve learned a myriad of skills: coping, money management, employment, interpersonal (including conflict resolution) skills, etc.

Please excuse my sentence structure. I haven’t yet attended college for this. I will, though. Definitely.

I am grateful for all of the teachers, case managers, therapists, and friends who have helped me learn (and some of them continue to help me learn) these skills.

Without my anti-depressant, though, I was unable to use the skills I had intellectually acquired. 

Once my anti-depressant began to work, my life changed. It has been the length of April-May, and these last two days of June that my life has very much changed: all for the better. It feels like it has been longer: probably because during this time period, I have been very slowly adjusting to having a stable mood, a lessening of PMDD symptoms, and a generally great outlook on life.

I am working.

I am studying Spanish. The app I’m using says that I’m studying at the highest intensity that they have a classification for.

I am less driven to study French, but I am slowly learning the basics. The pronunciation is difficult for me.

I am doing at-home workouts, but I really struggle with the form of most exercises. That will take some study.

I’m studying keyboarding and 10-key typing, to increase my speed in each.

If I can ever afford a tutor, I would like to re-learn Algebra. Once I finally learned it in high school (after failing twice), I was a literal ace. I want a tutor, so that I can become a tutor. My senior year classmates (in Edinburg, Texas) said that I taught it in a way that was very easy to learn. My teacher took the day off and just observed.

Life has become so full of possibilities. I have the energy, most days (85%) – I have the motivation, and I have the confidence.

I’m not a person that I recognize anymore.

Last year, I began smoking cigarettes. Today is my sixth day of not smoking. Little by little, the cravings have lessened in intensity. I definitely had a detox-day, on the third no-smoking day. My body was angry!

Otherwise…

Chloe is 8. 

here’s what I know: she likes to dance. she likes to read. she can do handstands.

Daphne is 6 (in August).

here’s what I know: she likes drawing. she likes video games. she’s quite picky on most everything. ( ( ( I have chosen not to have contact with her or her father, until a later date. ) ) )

Isaac is 5 (in November).

here’s what I know: he’s analytical, focused, shy, and a goofball (who doesn’t like Santa).

Juliet is 4 (in December).

here’s what I know: she loves animals. she tries to do handstands. she’s brave. she loves her big brother a lot. she’s in dance classes.

Fine. They’re allowed to continue growing. Like most people who have kids, I sometimes wish there were a pause button. 

A quick snapshot of how I feel about the most recent change that I’m not quite ready to blog about: 

I have mixed feelings. I’m sad. I’m happy that you’re happy. I’m happy that they’re happy. I’m worried that they’ll blame themselves, someday. I’m worried about their eventual, emotional reaction to things. I’m worried that the situation will change again.

I guess, by percentages… I’m mostly worried.

I am happy, but that’s a less natural emotion toward it.

End.

the first step is admitting…

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In 2013, I was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Just months before my diagnosis, I applied for several jobs – all at once.

For about a day and a half, I had three jobs. THREE jobs. (I was hired at three different places, but didn’t work all three jobs in that day and half.) I was pretty excited!

Before I was able to work as much as I was hoping I would get to, I had to quit two of the jobs. 

I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders, having been hired at so many different places.

I was newly pregnant with my son Isaac. ( I’m going to stop calling my babies by their blog nicknames. I just don’t think it matters anymore. :-p )

The job that I chose to try to keep was at a Subway. If offered the same job today, I would quickly run away.

Subway requires a massive amount of multi-tasking and an ability to process information at quick speeds. Neither of which am I capable of doing.

Any way, yada yada… in 2014, while pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I had a data entry job at an insurance agency. Contracted position.

If I could give 2014-Stephanie some advice, I’d tell her… “don’t talk to your co-workers.” … “sit at lunch, alone.” … “just do your d-mn work.”… and … “emotionally prepare for Chloe’s adoption anniversary in October.”

So, it’s 2016… and I can very readily admit which jobs (and housing situations) I can handle and which ones I should run away from – faster than …whatever’s really-really fast.

I’d describe my current situation as OK. It’s not a long-term solution for homelessness and unemployment, but I’m OK. 

I think it’s been a little over a month since I’ve seen Daphne. I think my friends would agree that I’ve done the best I can do to be apart of her life. And that’s all I can really say, right now.

Formal Diagnoses

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I am sorry to my supportive, encouraging blog readers, but I’ve had to disable comments on my blog. This is due to certain people having too much time on their hands and too little understanding of the situation(s). 

Oh, well. Here we go! It’ll be a struggle to explain this peace I’ve found. Not only for and due to the continued adoption plans… but also within myself.

Yesterday (October 28th, 2013), I was given my formal diagnoses by a neuro-psychologist, PhD.

Some of you may think it would be wise not to blog about my diagnoses. Maybe you’re right.

Here I go in my wrongness, though!  (I’ve gone 20 years not understanding why I’m different than other people, why I’m not able to complete tasks, why I have a definite low tolerance for frustration and/or stress…) By the way, in case some of you don’t know – I’m 28 years old. I began seeing that I was different, at the age of 8.

1) Asperger’s Syndrome (a mild case)

2) Generalized Anxiety – with Obsessive Compulsive traits

3) Dysthymia ~ (chronic type of depression in which a person’s moods are regularly low. However, symptoms are not as severe as with Major Depression.)

4) Sensory Processing Disorder ~ (A person with sensory processing disorder, SPD, finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks.

# 4 (Sensory Processing Disorder) should probably be listed as # 1, though. – – Why? …because my sensory processing is in the 4th percentile (meaning: I did better than 4% of the population in processing information through the senses). Another way to word this: My sensory processing speed is very low.

My verbal skills are in the 74th percentile. Concerning verbal skills, I did better than 74% of the population. My verbal skills are very high.

I have an average IQ, with my verbal IQ being quite a bit higher than my non-verbal IQ.

Especially when I am nervous, I don’t always understand the non-verbal communication being presented. 

I have a lack of spatial skills. (Spatial skills involve your ability to understand problems involving physical spaces, shapes, or forms. )

Sometimes, my affect is flat. (Affect, defined: “a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion.”)

My former diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder has been wholly terminated. This neuro-psychologist (PhD) found no evidence of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and called the doctor, who wrote that on my papers, “a quack” for diagnosing me with BPD after an hour long discussion with me. (My neuro-psychologist spent 4.5 hours testing my intelligence: emotional and academic, observing my behavior via distractions that I didn’t realize were part of the testing, etc.)

One behavior noted, through the distractions that I didn’t realize were part of their tests: if you give me an assignment, something to focus on or think about… and then you leave the room… and then you walk back in… it is very, very difficult for me to return to my previous state of focus. AKA – I need to be left alone and not distracted, in order to do my very best work. 

The one OCD trait that I can validate with my own agreeing opinion… I really need to do things perfectly. It’s an internal pressure to be perfect in all that I do. If I mess up at all, I tend to give up altogether. 

I deal with some  Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) issues, but not enough for any sort of ADD diagnosis.

My neuro-psychologist thinks I’d do well in becoming a research assistant.

…well, guess what! At the latest, I will begin college classes this summer!!!  Yes!!!

My Logic Hat

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My therapist calls it my “logic hat.”

When I have that thing on, I can think through things with great logic.

I’m not sure what to call the other hat, but I don’t like wearing it. If it were all up to me, I would never wear this other hat. Ever.

It’s the hat I’m wearing when my emotions overwhelm me. My emotions, when I do feel them, have the power to make me do things that my logic hat would shake its fist at.

Right now, at this moment, I’m wearing my logic hat.

If someone could, please, come out with new technology that allows me to lock my logic hat in place? Thank you.

Why I Prefer Written Communication Over Verbal

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Why I Prefer Written Communication Over Verbal (especially while discussing serious matters):

I’ve found, since I was a little girl, that I’m unable to verbally speak the things I want to convey to people. I very much dislike being required to read into a person’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. When doing these things isn’t a requirement (like during an in-person job interview), I prefer not to.

Do you want me to know what you’re thinking and wanting to say to me – without misunderstandings? Then write me a letter. Send me an e-mail.

I also find that texting isn’t the greatest form of communication, for serious discussions. Letters and e-mails are the best way to communicate with me.

– I won’t be misunderstood, as I’m a lot more articulate in my written communications.

– I won’t misunderstand your facial expressions, tone of voice, or body language.

I really don’t like gossip

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I’m trying to go back to different social situations in my recent or distant past… wondering if I’ve ever not hated gossip.

I find myself frustrated when people engage in gossip. I find myself bored, sighing, and waiting for the “conversation” to be over. If I agree with something that’s being said about someone, my honesty interjects and I verbally agree with the statement made. But I’m still really not enjoying the “conversation.”

My definition of gossip:

Speaking (almost wholly) negatively about a person who is not present, especially if everyone who is listening knows that person, too.

 

My frustration with gossip ends when I need to vent about someone else’s behavior. I hope that doesn’t make me a hypocrite. Maybe it does. – – I sometimes have to vent about someone’s behavior, so that I don’t end up exploding or imploding over the person’s behavior. – – I guess my two salvation points are that I don’t talk about the person’s behavior with someone who’s not able to explain the person’s behavior to me and/or help me learn how to tolerate the person’s behavior.

Paper Ducks

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Tomorrow, I’ll be at 34 weeks pregnant with Sweet-Sesame.

Mr and Mrs Zumba (-what I’ve decided to call the Z’s for this blog site) have already begun “nesting.” I suppose I’ve begun my version of nesting, as well. I’ve begun to think a lot about my after-Sweet-Sesame’s-born future.

Mrs Zumba created a string of paper ducks for Lady-Bug. Each paper duck represents one day of Sweet-Sesame’s remaining pregnancy days. Lady-Bug was curious as to when her “baby brudda” will be arriving. The paper ducks have helped Lady-Bug understand how much longer there is to wait.

…when I started writing this post, I knew I didn’t have much to say. I think I have so much that I’m thinking about that it’s become difficult to sort through it all.

I guess there’s only 43 paper ducks remaining on Lady-Bug’s string now. In 43 days, Sweet-Sesame is due.

 

BWAP; Week 1: Who I Am

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I found this “52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose” list on another mom blog:

http://www.frommrstomama.com )  (Thank you! 🙂 )

Week 1: Who I Am

I find myself fidgeting as I try to begin this post. So, the basic question is: “Who Am I?”

Bona Fide Birth Mother. I was born and raised in south Texas, USA.

My Dad raised me. My grandparents (my Dad’s parents) helped.

My Mom didn’t raise me. She had visitation rights and for a while, my sister (who’s 18 months older than me) and I visited my Mom every Wednesday.

Me and my sister got along – sometimes. It was kind of “hit or miss.” The reason seemed to be that I am (and always have been) very outspoken of anything I deem a fact. My opinions, too, of course. I don’t think my blunt honesty ever had big fans (people who enjoyed it), in my younger years. Now, as adults, me and my sister are capable of getting along a little more, but not for long periods of time.

As a child, besides my honesty… I also had a temper. I’ve learned to control my temper, for the most part. I remember not, at all, being a nice sister, at times. When my sister tried to report my bad behavior to a parent, they didn’t always believe her. I’ve asked my sister about this, since becoming an adult. She says that she doesn’t remember any of it.

At the age of 18, I attended Texas Bible Institute. It was a 9 month course. I stayed for 3 months. My black and white / rigid thinking came into play when it was insinuated that for me to prove my salvation, I would need to speak in tongues. Maybe this isn’t apart of the TBI doctrine, but someone on campus (at that time) seemed to believe that. I couldn’t stay, due to this unbiblical teaching. Never mind that I was rooming with 4 other girls in a 500 square foot room. All of it being added up, there’s no way I could have ever survived an entire 9 months there.

A lot happened between the age of 18 and 24, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post!

At the age of 24, I gave birth to my daughter, Lady-Bug. It took me close to 6 months before I felt a mother-daughter bond with her. That was probably half due to post-partum emotional issues and half due to Asperger’s Syndrome. That’s all I can figure out.

At the age of 27, I gave birth to my daughter, Precious-Picklette. Not much time passed (about 2 months) before I had a mental breakdown / emotional meltdown. Lady-Bug was adopted by the Z’s and Precious-Picklettes father took over raising Precious-Picklette.

Also at the age of 27, I became pregnant with my son (Sweet-Sesame) – whom I’m 32 weeks pregnant with, at the moment.

There’s a very quick snapshot of my “life’s story.” 

I like lasagna. Some days, I love it… but today, it sounds too heavy.

I like ranch dressing on (almost) anything.

My favorite color is lavender.

I’m 5’7″.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

…okay, ’til next time.

Me, at 22 years old.

Me, at 22 years old.

Waffles

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The first memory I have   (besides a picture of me being taken when I was 4 and being asked how old I was when I was 5)   is of daycare.

My aunt Nadine was the “daycare leader.”

I remember that we began a contest. A waffle-eating contest. Who could eat the most waffles in one week?

I love waffles, so I was really excited about the contest.

I won the contest.

But it didn’t seem fair. The other kids got tired of eating waffles and ate other things, instead. How were we supposed to have a waffle contest, if the contestants weren’t eating waffles anymore?